​KENDYL KRATZER

 was born and raised in downtown Buffalo. A Bills fan at heart, she prefers fats to flats as any respectable wing connoisseur would. As an Economics major she spends her days crunching numbers and waiting for English class. 

                                         Heat

I walk slow down the path licking a tootsie pop

& drop its stick before I taste the middle.  This is my gift

to the park, which told me to carry out

 

that which I have brought in.  My dog

pees on a nearby tree & someone yells

that they could press charges

 

because this is private property.  His muddy paws

remind me to draw a bath, so I do.  It’s not that I’m

filthy, it’s that I would rather lay, submerged

 

in steamy water than stand & feel where

a shower’s narrow heat just misses my curvature. 

I apologize to no one while running soap

 

over the parts of my body I’m told I shouldn’t.  I know

what it is to feel a bath beneath my skin, boiling to

get outside & not being able to make it cool off.

 

So today I tried walking in spaces I’m not allowed

to try and cool off the heat &

it did, for a time

 

but like static silence she lingers,

my own rage bubbling up,

spilling over.

Peace of Nostalgia

In summer, dandelions shatter into seeds

sent off by the wind’s impatient sigh

the sun burns, inferno

it’s late when everything settles.

 

Last night’s shower flattened the grass

cool mist lingers, whispering of rain

until here –  

in the middle of Life –

the world is at its end again.

 

So about grieving,

they were never wrong

how it happens slowly –  then all at once.

 

When days draw short and nights  s t r e t c h

the past    ambushes    my peace.

 

All these signs, these seasonal surges

offer glimmers ephemeral

until someone sings (others hum) and again

I am breathed into living.

Cold Days Ahead

 

Lie still now, while I wish for my future

uncertain days ahead.

Dreams that churn my stomach looser

settle clearly in my head.

 

Remember me, oh lonely moon

when those days come rough and scattered.

For nothing of what happens then,

have I not yet encountered. 

 

Drive out this cold, before morning breaks

and the sun gleams fierce on my back.

I’ll follow you out of this fragile place

reticence sealing our pact.

NAME Magazine UNIVERSITY AT BUFFALO 2020